Oberlin Fund Volunteers Go the Extra Mile

Class Agents Ron Friedmann and Susan Doroshow reveal the Class of 1970's reunion gift at the Alumni Luncheon last May.

After thousands of letters to classmates, several trips to campus, and countless brainstorming sessions with Oberlin employees, alumni Susan Becker Doroshow and Ron Friedmann completed their terms recently as class agents for The Oberlin Fund, the College’s annual giving program. The Class of 1979, as part of its 25th reunion fundraising effort last year, raised a record-breaking $640,000—funds that provide much-needed scholarship dollars while meeting needs all throughout campus.

“Oberlin has had uncanny timing in approaching me to fill volunteer positions,” says Doroshow, a dentist who runs a private practice outside of Chicago. “I’m usually asked to serve right when I’m itching for contact with other Obies.”

Doroshow began volunteering for Oberlin as a member of the Alumni Recruiting Network, becoming a class agent after her 20th reunion in 1994. For her 25th reunion she was teamed with Friedmann, “someone who shares my commitment to volunteering and my passion for Oberlin.”

Friedmann, a legal technology consultant in the DC area and himself a seasoned Oberlin volunteer, has served as an alumni admissions recruiter, a reunion gift committee member, and editor of the DC alumni club newsletter. Among his top priorities is helping students land jobs after they graduate. “As alumni, we need to remember that helping graduates get jobs can be among the most valuable services we provide to the College,” he says.

As class agents, Doroshow and Friedmann shared the task of finding creative ways to grab the attention of their classmates while appealing for the unrestricted dollars that are of Oberlin’s highest priority. Doroshow perfected the art of personalization, making sure that classmates received customized messages in their letters and thank you notes. Friedmann once wrote a touching letter about his decision to continue supporting The Oberlin Fund after being laid off from a job. “I liked Oberlin and wanted other students to have similar experiences,” he wrote. “Few colleges have the same spirit as Oberlin, and it’s important to me that we preserve it. I feel great when I help the College raise money or attract students, and I feel bad when I see classmates who have the means to give but don’t.”

Volunteering for Oberlin is far from “invitation-only,” Friedmann adds. “The College has many needs and ways to get involved. From fundraising to recruiting students to planning regional alumni events, anyone can find an activity that will satisfy them and help the College at the same time.”

“The job I took on as class agent was an important part of Oberlin’s fundraising efforts, and it was satisfying to invest the time I did for an important landmark year for my class,” adds Doroshow. “I’d do it again. I’d like to believe that my efforts made a difference.”

To find out more about volunteering for The Oberlin Fund, visit www.oberlin.edu/obiefund/agents/, e-mail oberlin.fund@oberlin.edu, or call toll-free 800-693-3167.

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